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Mates

Quran 30:21:

And among His signs is that He created mates for you from among yourselves, that you might find rest in them, and He established affection and mercy between you. Truly in that are signs for a people who reflect.

The following excerpt is taken from “The Study Quran” under the commentary of the above verse:

That God made for human beings mates from among yourselves (or “from your souls”; cf. 16:72; 35:11; 42:11; 78:8) is also understood to mean “from yourselves” when seen as an allusion to the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib (IK, Ṭ), though some commentators are skeptical of this association, feeling it relies too heavily on the Biblical tradition (see Genesis 2:21–23). A direct account of Eve’s creation is not found in the Quran, only in the Ḥadīth literature; see 4:1c. Although many understand the present verse as an address to men, telling them of the benefits to be found in their wives (Aj, IK, R), viewed in a broader Quranic context, especially in relation to those verses that state that God created human beings from a single soul (4:1; 6:98, 7:189, 31:28, 39:6) and its mate from that same soul (see 7:189c and 39:6), it is most likely an address to both men and women, telling of the manner in which God has extended His own Love and Mercy to them through the love and mercy that they manifest toward one another. In this sense, the purpose of marriage is not limited to producing children; it also represents a spiritual good in and of itself and a means by which men and women can encounter God’s Love and Mercy in each other. In this vein, the Prophet is reported to have said, “The believer whose faith is most complete is the one whose character is the best; and the best among you are those who are best to their wives.”

As well:

Quran 2:35:

And We said, “O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.”

Regarding the word “Paradise”, Muhammad Asad writes:

“Lit., “the garden”. There is a considerable difference of opinion among the commentators as     to what is meant here by “garden”: a garden in the earthly sense, or the paradise that awaits     the righteous in the life to come, or some special garden in the heavenly regions? According     to some of the earliest commentators (see Manar I, 277), an earthly abode is here alluded to     namely, an environment of perfect ease, happiness and innocence. In any case, this story of Adam is obviously one of the allegories referred to in 3:7.”

Furthermore, T.O. Shanavas writes:

“Most contemporary Muslims across the world believe that Adam and Eve were created in Paradise (Jennat-ul-Khuld) but were expelled for eating fruit from the forbidden tree in the garden. Early Muslims carried on great debates about the location of the garden. According to the two foremost exegetes of the Quran, Ibn Kathir (died in 1372) and arRazi (died in 1209), four interpretations of the location of the garden prevailed: that the Garden was Paradise itself, that it was a separate Garden created especially for Adam and Eve, that it was located on Earth, and the view that it was best for Muslims not to be concerned with the location of the Garden. Unorthodox as it seems for our time, more reasons lead us to believe that the garden was on Earth rather than in Paradise.”

In general terms, however, this term (Paradise) refers to the Earth and its blessings.

According to “Lamp of Islam”:

Adam and his/her spouse symbolize mankind’s male and female equals

At this point (2:35) – when man and woman are asked to dwell in the garden and to ‘eat’ therefrom – we notice the sudden change of address from single form (Adam) to the dual (ADAM AND HIS/HER SPOUSE), apparently to signify the whole humanity represented by its male and female equals.

Here we cannot ignore that this reference to the two human counterparts – men and women – clearly follows a context that insures gardens for virtuous people to be fed therefrom and to dwell with their SPOUSES therein (2:25).

Furthermore, according to Muhammad Asad regarding “the tree”:

“This symbolic tree is designated in the Bible as “the tree of life” and “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis ii, 9), while in the above Qur’anic account Satan speaks of it as “the tree of life eternal (al-khuld)”. Seeing that Adam and Eve did not achieve immortality despite their tasting the forbidden fruit, it is obvious that Satan’s suggestion was, as it always is, deceptive. On the other hand, the Qur’an tells us nothing about the real nature of that “tree” beyond pointing out that it was Satan who described it – falsely – as “the tree of immortality”: and so we may assume that the forbidden tree is simply an allegory of the limits which the Creator has set to man’s desires and actions: limits beyond which he may not go without offending against his own, God-willed nature” (The Message of the Quran pg. 619-620)

In other words, the tree here simply refers to the limits which God has placed on Mankind, limits that each human being is aware of and knows that if he/she crosses, will harm him/herself.

With this commentary we can properly understand the verse 2:35 above:

Dwell O Adam (man/woman), you and your mate in Paradise (the Earth) and eat therefrom from wherever you wish (Do whatever you like i.e. seek every blessing) but do not approach this tree (signifying the limits placed on humanity as a whole and individuals).

What we must understand is that Allah has bestowed a great honour on humanity by saying ‘you and your mate’. This unique reference is for the pure purpose of honoring both spouses, also by calling this world by the name of the eternal Garden (Jannah), it is an even greater honour as it establishes that this world in which we live in is also “a” Jannah (Paradise), a place of goodness and blessing.

The Story of Adam adds a further blessing to all this by stating that if we make a mistake that harms us, we may seek forgiveness from God and we will be instantly forgiven and regranted Paradise. The whole purpose of the Story of Adam is this: life, liberty, redemption and thus, freedom.

The Quran and Human Embryology

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The Moon

The following excerpt is taken from “Maariful Quran” by Mufti Taqi Usmani vol. 4 pg. 516-521:

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Communicating with Allah

Quran 42:51:

The following excerpt is taken from “The Message of the Quran” by Muhammad Asad pg. 954-955:

And it is not given to mortal man that God should speak unto him otherwise than through sudden 52 inspiration, or [by a voice, as it were,] from behind a veil, or by sending an apostle to reveal, by His leave, whatever He wills [to reveal]: 53 for, verily, He is exalted, wise.

Note 52: This is the primary meaning of wahy, a term which combines the concepts of suddenness and inner illumination (Raghib); in the usage of the Qur’an, it is often, though by no means always, synonymous with “revelation”. – The above passage connects with the first paragraph of verse 48, which speaks of the divine message entrusted to the Prophet.

Note 53: Cf. 53:10

The following is from page 1038 of the same book:

And thus did [God] reveal unto His servant whatever He deemed right to reveal,6

Note 6:

Lit., “whatever He revealed”: an allusion to the exceptional manifestation of the angel “in his true shape and nature” as well as to the contents of divine revelation as such. In its deeper sense the above phrase implies that even to His chosen prophets God does not entirely unveil the ultimate mysteries of existence, of life and death, of the purpose for which He has created the universe, or of the nature of the universe itself.

The Prophet’s Knowledge of the Quran

The following excerpt is taken from “Science in the Quran” by Sayyid Rami Al Rifai chapter 1:

It is clear from the prophet Muhammad’s (saws) own words that He (saws) understood there is knowledge in everything which needs to be studied and discovered before it can be known, today for mankind science fulfils this role. The Prophet – praise and peace be upon him – said, “Indeed, knowledge has a branch which resembles a hidden thing (it needs to be discovered); no one grasps it except those who know Allah.” Allah in the Quran speaks about all aspects of creation, but much of it was beyond the understanding of the desert Arabs living 1400 years ago, Allah says: “And we strike these similitudes for the people, but none understands them except those who know.” (29: 42). Regarding this the prophet (saws) said, “Indeed, there is an external meaning and an internal meaning to the Qur’an, a scope and a point.” Ali, pointing to his breast, said, “Indeed, herein lies abundant knowledge; would that there were some to (comprehend and) transmit it.”   It was because not every person was capable of understanding science that the prophet (saws) said, “We prophets were ordered to communicate with everyone according to his ability to understand.” This is because there was a danger in trying to teach people science they would not be able to prove for another 1400 years, so the prophet (saws) warned, “No one has ever recited a prophetic quotation to a people which their minds have failed to grasp without it being a temptation for them.” The prophet taught the scientific meanings behind specific verses to the companions who could grasp them and they understood the dangers of trying to teach knowledge that could not be visually proven.   Allah said in the Quran, “It is Allah who has created the seven heavens and of (the) earth, their like (meaning the other planets); and between them the Command descends (the Laws of Physics governing space)” (65: 12). Ibn Abbas (r.a) said about this verse, “Were I to relate its interpretation you would stone me” or  “ you would have said, ‘He is an unbeliever’”. Abu Hurrah similarly said, “I have received from the Prophet of Allah two things (types of knowledge), one of which I have made public. Were I to divulge the other, this throat would be cut.”   The prophet  ( saws)   said, “Abu-Bakr has excelled you not by excessive fasting and much prayer, but by a secret which rests in his chest.” His ability to understand science and everything the prophet (saws) taught him about the universe and Allah.   Allah said in the Quran “Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed.” (39: 9)

Al Rifai, Sayyid Rami. Science In The Quran (pp. 1-2). UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.

The Soul and its Attributes

Quran 17:85:

And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, “The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little.”

The following excerpt is taken from “Maariful Quran” by Mufti Taqi Usmani vol. 5 pg. 544-552:

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The following excerpt is taken from “Ihya Uloom Al Din” by Imam Ghazzali vol. 3 pg. 7-46:

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All things sing the Praise of God

The following excerpt is taken from “Islamic Theory of Evolution” by T.O. Shanavas pg. 181-182:

God endowed all creatures with minds. Animate and even inanimate creatures, such as fire, winds, and mountains have selves and a subjective faculty with which they can experience and respond to the Divine Will. The Quran attests to the existence of subjectivity with faculties endowing experience and response within the inanimate world, even though human beings do not comprehend it:

Quran 17:44:

The seven skies, the earth, and all that lies within them, sing hallelujahs to Him. And there is nothing that does not chant His praise. But you [human] do not understand their hymns of praise. Truly He is very clement and forgiving.

We also read:

Quran 41:11:

Then he turned to the heavens, and it was smoke. So he said to the earth and the heavens: “Come with willingness and obedience and they replied: We come Willingly.

The latter verse can be interpreted scientifically. According to contemporary cosmology, the entire universe was filled with radiation and plenum of matter (originally hydrogen and helium) formed from elementary particles (quarks) in a dense, primeval fireball of creation called the Big Bang.

The smoke described in the above verse is most likely a reference to quarks and atoms before they condensed into galaxies. The Quranic verses here describe a universe that was responsive to God since its inception after the Big Bang. The heavens and the earth in its early gaseous embryonic state (“smoke”) responded to God by saying, “We come willingly.”

The Herald of Mercy

Quran 1:3:

the Compassionate, the Merciful

The following excerpt is taken from the “Study Quran” under the commentary of the above verse:

This verse repeats the two Divine Names, the Compassionate (alRaḥmān) and the Merciful (al-Raḥīm), that are recited in the basmalah at the opening of each sūrah, except for Sūrah 9, “Repentance” (al-Tawbah). Both Names are intensifications of the word raḥmah, meaning “Mercy” or “LovingMercy.” Al-Raḥmān, which is also the title of Sūrah 55, is considered to be more emphatic, embracing, and encompassing than al-Raḥīm (IK, Qu, Ṭ). It is one of the Divine Names that cannot be applied to anything other than God, either literally or figuratively, since it connotes the Loving-Mercy by which God brings forth existence. Al-Raḥīm indicates the blessing of nourishment (rizq) by which God sustains each particular existent thing. Thus it may apply figuratively to creatures, and the adjective raḥīm is in fact used to describe the Prophet in 9:128. As al-Raḥmān is more encompassing, it is closer to the highest Name of God, Allāh; 17:110 enjoins the Prophet to say, Call upon God, or call upon the Compassionate. Whichever you call upon, to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. The relationship between them is thus presented as that of different levels or degrees of light: al-Raḥmān is like the light of the sun that illuminates the whole sky, and al-Raḥīm is like the particular ray of sunlight that touches a creature. In Islamic metaphysics and cosmology it is stated that it was by God breathing “the Breath of the Compassionate” (Nafas al-Raḥmān) upon the immutable essences (al-aʿyān al-thābitah), which are the archetypes of all things in Divine Knowledge, that the world was brought into being. From this perspective, the very existence of the world is in essence nothing but the breath of Divine Compassion. Together these two Names refer to two aspects of the Divine Mercy (raḥmah): one essential and universal, the other attributive and particular. The first is that by which creation is brought forth, while the second is that by which God shows Mercy to those whom He will, as in 33:43: And He is Merciful (raḥīm) unto the believers. The essential and universal Mercy is that of the Compassionate, which God bestows upon all things through their very existence and is the Divine aspect referred to in 20:5: The Compassionate mounted the Throne; and 25:59: Then mounted the Throne, the Compassionate [is He]. The particular Mercy is that of the Merciful, through which each creature that exists is sustained and which varies in mode according to the manner in which this Divine Name or Attribute has become manifest. It is evident that Divine Names of beauty, such as “the Kind” (al-Laṭīf), “the Clement” (al-Ḥalīm), and “the Beautiful” (al-Jamīl), are manifestations of Mercy. But in Divine Names of rigor, such as “the Powerful” (al-Qādir), “the Avenger” (al-Muntaqim), and “the Abaser” (al-Mudhill), the manifestation of Divine Mercy is veiled by the inseparability of God’s Kindness from His Majesty and determinative power (qadar). God is thus said to be Compassionate toward all of creation and Merciful toward the believers (Ṭb). Positioned between v. 2, which alludes to God being the Sovereign over all dimensions of space, both seen and unseen, and v. 4, which alludes to God being the Master of all time, since all things end on the Day of Judgment, this verse indicates that God’s Mercy encompasses and interpenetrates all time and all space, as in 7:156: My Mercy encompasses all things.

Singing and Music in Islam

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The following excerpt is taken from “The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam” by Yusuf Al-Qaradawi pg. 296-300:

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The Science Book

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